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Butterfly Bush

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2005
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by oldcrow61 on October 10, 2005 01:23 AM
Just joined up this morning and am finding my way around. I'm having such fun reading your questions and answers. You guys are really fun to be around. Now to my question: This past spring I grew four Butterfly bushes from seed. This summer they grew 3-4 feet tall and had beautiful blooms. As I haven't had these in my garden before what do I do to prepare them for winter. We have heavy snowfalls,yes, even 6 feet of snow. Should I build a teepee around them for support and wrap them up or just leave them to fend for themselves.Help!!!!!
by plants 'n pots on October 10, 2005 02:26 AM
Welcome oldcrow!

I have many butterfly bushes and just let them be over the winter. Around late February to mid-March is the time to prune them back. Before they start leafing out. I have heard 2 differing points of doing that - one says to prune them to the ground, and another says to prune them down to about 12-18 inches. I find that the latter works better for me.

Glad you enjoyed your bushes and that they grew so well from seeds. What colors are they? I have pinks, purples, yellow, and a very small white that doesn't want to grow very much.

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 - Lynne's knitting journal  -  -  -
"I'm spayed, declawed, and housebound - how's YOUR day going???"
by oldcrow61 on October 10, 2005 04:59 AM
Hi Lynne, Thanks for the information. Mine are a pinkish purple and smell fabulous. I like to grow things for bees and butterflies and find that butterflys particularly like the chive flowers. My monkshood, lupins and malva are usually loaded down with bumble bees during the summer. There is a constant humming in the gardens. I'm hoping the Butterfly bushes survive the winter in zone five. I really don't know how hardy they are.
by plants 'n pots on October 10, 2005 05:15 AM
Hi oldcrow - I'm in zone 6 here, and am also not sure how hardy they are. One year I lost 4 out of 7 bushes, and never really found out why, but I think that was the year I cut them shorter... I also love the spicey scent of the purple ones - my pink don't smell as much, but do make me sneeze!

I haven't grown any of the other flowers you mentioned, though when I lived in Alaska the lupin were absolutely gorgeous! Some of my flowers that had hoards of bees on them this year were the mini zinnias, sedum autumn joy, salvias, and purple hyacinth beans. My husband and I have never seen such ENORMOUS bees as this year - and tons of them!

If you are really concerned about the BB, you could always wrap it up in burlap so the limbs don't break off and it would help insulate it a bit.

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 - Lynne's knitting journal  -  -  -
"I'm spayed, declawed, and housebound - how's YOUR day going???"
by oldcrow61 on October 10, 2005 07:59 PM
Hi Lynne, Yes, I'm considering wrapping the Butterfly Bushes up for the winter. Another plant the bees absolutely adore is Blessed Thistle.
by heidi_ho80 on October 10, 2005 10:27 PM
Hi guys! I have 5 bushes 3 white and 1 purple and 1 red. I am in zone 6. This is what I do and mine do great! After they die back sometimes after the snow flies here I cut them down to the ground. Then I put some mulch over the stubs. I have done this for 4 years and my white ones are about 6 feet high. Good Luck!
by slredmond on October 10, 2005 11:53 PM
Hi all. My three butterfly bushes did fine last winter, zone 5, even planted on the north side of my house. In the spring I transplanted them to a more sunny spot, and cut them back to about 10 inches tall. They were VERY slow at taking off, but ended up great. Congrats on getting blooms your first year starting from seed. Wow!

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by oldcrow61 on October 11, 2005 04:30 AM
Hi guys: Thanks for all the information. It's really helpful. Have been looking everywhere for the information I've gotten here. It's great.

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